Scotland : More than £10m is to go to training people in heritage skills from dry stone walling to rigging and repairing traditional wooden sailing ships. The funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting projects across the UK that will train a “new and more diverse generation of heritage workers” in areas from traditional crafts to digital specialists.
In Scotland, the cash has gone towards three projects, including nearly £600,000 to Museums Galleries Scotland to create a series of traineeships across Scotland, and a £377,000 fund for Skills for Rewilding.
In this project, fifteen trainees will develop kills needed to enable them to work on large-scale natural heritage projects.
Based at Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Conservation Estate, they will be taught skills in horticulture, native woodland and deer management, biological surveying and engaging rural communities.
Another £496,200 is going to the Next Step Initiative, which will see sixteen traineeships to enable minority ethnic and cultural communities, who are currently under-represented in the heritage sector, to learn heritage new skills.
Elsewhere in the UK, there will be training for shipwrights in traditional skills which are under threat of being lost, such as rigging and repair of wooden ships, while trainees from areas of high unemployment will learn how to overhaul steam locomotives and ships.
The £10.1m funding is being shared between 18 projects across the UK.
While it is not a job creation scheme, the Skills for the Future programme has seen 75% of trainees securing a job in heritage following their training, HLF said.
Sir Peter Luff, chairman of the HLF, said: “There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its work force and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve.
“We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47 million to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10million.”
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We know that our Skills for the Future programme is driving successful and lasting change.
“It’s providing a much-needed pool of talented people who will be the future guardians of the heritage sector ensuring that it continues to flourish. “By pairing trainees with experts they gain access to specialist knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience. It’s simple yet highly effective but requires funding which we are delighted to provide.”
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